The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which seeks to create a platform for strengthening the already existing relationship between the two courts.
The MOU also focuses on a number of initiatives to enhance the discharge of their respective mandates, through the concerted implementation of programmes that will enable them to contribute towards improving human rights in the continent.
The areas identified for cooperation under the MOU are staff exchanges, reciprocal representation, knowledge and information sharing, research and capacity building within the framework of the constitutive instruments of both courts.
A copy of the MOU made available to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Friday explained that in order to operationalise their commitment in the areas of capacity building and training, the two courts agreed to jointly mobilise resources for the execution of joint projects.
Under the terms of the MOU, the two courts also agreed to establish a Joint Committee charged with the institutionalization of consultations and ensuring the effectiveness of their cooperation.
Justice Jérôme Traoré, President of the ECOWAS Court and Justice Sylvain Ore, President of the African Court jointly signed the MOU at Arusha, Tanzania during a working visit to the Headquarters of the African Court.
The ECOWAS Court team included five other Judges and senior Registry staff, as well as the Chief Registrar, who had a fruitful deliberation with the African Court officials from February 26 to March 1, which culminated with the signing of the three-year MOU.
Justice Ore told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that the Judges of the two Courts discussed a wide range of issues pertaining to their respective mandates.
In particular, there was a presentation by the two courts and discussions around the human rights jurisprudence of both Courts; the overlapping jurisdictions and the mechanisms put in place for the implementation of their decisions.
He said the Registry staff of the two Courts also met at the technical level to exchange views on how to provide technical and judicial support to the Courts.
The ECOWAS Court also visited two international tribunals based in Arusha, that is, the East African Court of Justice and the UN-Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (UN-MICT).